This Month's Picks

Just Enough Hip To Be Woman (CD)

Broncho

Whoa this is fun stuff! These guys have a sunny spontaneity and cheap pop rock fizz that reminds me of the Strokes or the Modern Lovers or the Clean. Oklahoma power pop dudes play bouncy, classic-sounding '80s trash that would sound pretty good on a John Hughes movie soundtrack. "Class Historian" has the deceptively simple hooks and harmonies of any Cars or Roxy Music bubbleglam, but it's just trashy enough to be made by millenials on the go. Broncho gives you the roller rink riffs, and stints not on the ooh oohs and the sha-la-las. Like Pavement, they are great pop craftsmen, but they keep it sounding delightfully cruddy.

More
Genre: Rock

Heigh Ho (CD)

Blake Mills

Surprisingly seasoned at just 26, avant-Americana guitar wiz Blake Mills is best known for his work with Fiona Apple (who also shows up here, along with Jon Brion), as well as with Neil Diamond, Band of Horses and Alabama Shakes. These are tough, reverberant anthems, with distinctive production that's at once stark and scintillating, not unlike later Tom Waits albums. His guitar work is bold and heavy, with the vintage twang of Daniel Lanois or Neil Young, and his voice breaks with stinging honesty. Fans of dusty desert alterno-blues will find that Mills rambles with the best in the pack, from Cass McCombs to Tinariwen, Chris Robinson to Will Oldham. Just when he seems to be ripping into a late night whiskey gospel ballad, a wave of billowy ELO-style orchestration washes up and drenches it all in an aquamarine shimmer. There's a great musicality here, and a sonic pallet rich enough to dive deep into.

More
Genre: Rock

The Master (CD)

Ustad Sultan Khan, Warren Cuccurullo

Ustad Sultan Khan, India's greatest sarangi player of modern times, collaborates with former Duran Duran and Frank Zappa guitarist Warren Cuccurullo on this 1998 recording session. You've never heard either of these musicians in such a context.

More
Genre: World

If I Stay [OST] (CD)

Various Artists

Beck, Odessa, The Orwells, and many more contribute to the soundtrack of the hit Young Adult tear-jerker, If I Stay. Also includes music by Willamette Stone, the film’s fictitious band fronted by the Adam (Jamie Blackley).

More
Genre: Soundtracks

Amphetamine Ballads (CD)

The Amazing Snakeheads

The debut album from Glasgow's The Amazing Snakeheads is a monument to the redemptive powers of rock & roll. It’s full of rage, romance, and dark humor. An uncompromising, astonishingly visceral debut album.

More
Genre: Rock

I'm Not Bossy, I'm The Boss (CD)

Sinéad O'Connor

Ireland’s most iconic female artists does not disappoint after 30 years in the business. Her latest album is passionate and direct, yet with an overarching fragility; her voice is a weapon, as powerful as it is tender.

More
Genre: Rock

Swimmin' Time (CD)

Shovels & Rope

Husby-wife duo makes sweet shufflin’ country-rockin’ tunes that tell wry Southern tales in perfect, raspy harmony.

More
Genre: Folk

The Black Market (CD)

Rise Against

Chicago hardcore band’s latest is a full-force set of fist-pumping anthems for the eco-terrorist in all of us.

More
Genre: Rock

Lion (CD)

Peter Murphy

Bauhaus front man Peter Murphy’s latest solo album is richly emotional, dark, and romantic – but would you expect anything less from the undisputed King of Goth? Also prepare for some rabble-rousing pirate sea shanties.

More
Genre: Rock

Max Richter - Retrospective [Limited Edition Box Set] (CD)

Max Richter

Four discs of paralyzing ambient-orchestral beauty, comprising albums and soundtracks The Blue Notebooks (2004), Songs from Before (2006), 24 Postcards in Full Colour (2008) and Infra (2010).

More
Genre: Classical